Don’t regret speaking up. Regret saying nothing.

I just came across a great piece at Inc.com on why you should speak up. It goes along well with my post from earlier today. Here’s the best part:

You can’t assume the obvious is obvious. Your experience and knowledge has value in a given situation. No one else has your unique perspective. That doesn’t mean that everything in your brain is worth communicating, but with a little discretion and thought, you should be able to bring value in most situations. And your piece of the puzzle may be the most important finisher. You’re also not doing yourself any favors by not sharing your expertise. People don’t automatically recognize your skills, values, ambitions, and desires when you are quiet. If you wait around for people to notice or read your mind, you will likely end up on many paths that are not of your own choosing. You may end up with projects you don’t want, missing promotions you do, or accepting tasks you don’t have time or ability to complete. Gather up your confidence and share.

Something to ponder: Why do we regret our failed attempts more than we regret our failures to attempt? Should we settle to be this way? Aren’t those who withhold their perspective while those around them careen toward disaster as guilty as those who caused the problem in the first place? Never blame anyone for trying. Don’t criticize those who fail unless they refused to hear advice. And if you didn’t offer your unique perspective, but instead sat content to watch those around us unknowingly burn resources, consider yourself even guiltier than whoever set the fire in the first place.

Name a great man or woman who said nothing, who did nothing. Greatness isn’t always recorded in the history books, of course. Probably some of history’s truly greatest people won’t ever be recognized for their efforts. But is it likely that these people said nothing while those around them, knowingly or unknowingly, plotted disaster? I doubt it.

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